Detwiler Fire doubles in size, grows to over 45,000 acres

Detwiler Fire map

Above: Map of the Detwiler Fire. The red line was the perimeter at 10 p.m. PDT July 18, and the white line was the perimeter 21 hours earlier.

(Originally published at 7:34 a.m. PDT July 19, 2017)
(UPDATED at 9:54 a.m. PDT July 19, 2017)

The Detwiler Fire continued to burn vigorously Tuesday evening. When it was mapped at 10 p.m. it had more than doubled, adding another 26,123 acres during the previous 21 hours to bring the total burned area up to 45,724 acres according to CAL FIRE. Satellite data acquired four hours later at 2 a.m. Wednesday showed the fire had still been spreading and may have added at least another 5,000 acres.

About 4,000 people are affected by evacuations, including the entire city of Mariposa. CAL FIRE and the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office have more information about evacuations. Approximately 1,500 homes are threatened and 8 structures have been destroyed.

The Detwiler Fire has burned very close to Mariposa and is 23 miles northeast of Merced.

The fire has crossed Highways 49 and 140, which are now closed in the area of the fire.

Firefighters are worried about the power lines that supply electricity to Yosemite National Park which is 16 air miles east of the fire.

About 2,200 personnel are assigned or en route.

Detwiler Fire
The Detwiler Fire, Tuesday afternoon. Photo provided by Robert D. Barnett, CAL FIRE Deputy Chief of Training & Safety, Northern Region C205. Used with permission.

The video below shows a drop from a DC-10 air tanker.

(All articles on Wildfire Today about the Detwiler Fire are tagged “Detwiler Fire” and can be found here, with the most recent at the top.)

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

6 thoughts on “Detwiler Fire doubles in size, grows to over 45,000 acres”

  1. Fires and global warming: Most of the heat accumulated is going into oceans (about 93%). With the sun overhead, water absorbs almost all solar energy falling on it. If you had floating spray pumps operated by wave motion, you could prevent a lot of solar radiation from entering the sea. The spray mist would absorb some of the ultra violet light, it would absorb some of the visible light and it would absorb a lot of the infrared light from the sun. All of these will heat the spray mist and some of the mist will evaporate. This will humidify the air, but the evaporation will also cool the air. When the moist air blows onto land with sea breezes, it can be made to heat up if the land is dark (could make it dark with biochar, etc). Dark land heats up because it absorbs solar energy. The air that has direct contact with hot land heats up by conduction and convection. But since it is moist, it has a greenhouse gas in (water vapour) and water vapour absorbs infrared radiation from the land, so that the air can be heated, even if it is some way above the ground. The heating causes upward convection and enables rain. If convection and rain occurs continually, it dries out the air and relative humidity falls. Rain clouds also reflect solar radiation and cool the ground. I have seen at least one article claiming that evaporation of water is a means of cooling Earth and this seems correct to me, as low clouds in low latitudes are especially associated by scientists with a cooling of Earth. So my solution is spray generators floating on the sea, and land made dark to cause convection. I have other methods, but it would really be a significant event if more rain was generated in deserts and palm oil trees were grown there to provide lots of money and take carbon dioxide out of the air. This would reduce wet bulb temperatures. Solar energy is short wavelength radiation centred around a wavelength of about 0.5 microns and radiation from hot land is centred around about 9 microns. The solar radiation does not heat up air much, but the radiation from hot ground does heat up the air and is kept in to a large degree by air with water vapour and carbon dioxide in.

  2. I would like to know what the situation is on Crown lead Road specifically 4795 Crowley Road we have a little tree farm there

  3. I’m looking for more info about the area to the N of the fire. Specifically around Bondurant mine Rd about 10 mi E of Coulterville……

  4. I would like to know how close to coulterville is the fire and what are the chance of it spreading to the Groveland area?

  5. The airport manager has also closed Mariposa Airport. Fire ops have moved to Castle.


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